Wave Riding Robot Survives Sandy’s Wild Waters


The open ocean certainly wasn’t a choice place to be earlier this week as Hurricane Sandy crept toward the East Coast. A floating robot, however, survived the rough waters in one piece.

The robot, called Mercury, is one of a series of Wave Gliders by California-based Liquid Robotics. Mercury was about 100 miles off the New Jersey shoreline collecting atmospheric pressure and wave height data as Sandy battered the coast Monday and Tuesday.

The Wave Glider robots are weather monitoring packages that convert the motion of waves into forward momentum; their goal is to collect tropical storm data in different oceanic parts of the world. They have an iceberg-like design: the visible portion, at the surface, is connected to a glider portion below the surface that pulls the vessel along.

Other Wave Gliders are on trips across the Earth at the moment, too. One is headed for Japan, with a stop planned at the Mariana Trench — where director James Cameron recently made a record-breaking dive — while another is headed toward Australia.

Watch the video above to learn more. How do you think technology can be used to better predict storms? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, NASA Earth Observatory.

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